| President's Corner
We have a lot in the works at MSU Extension´s Community Development (CD) Program and in MACDEP; we have many upcoming events at the Extension Annual Conference including a pre-conference CD Workshop (with nearly full registration) and our first official MACDEP Business Meeting; many MACDEP members are involved in the next phase of the Horizons program in 15 communities in west and central Montana; The Galaxy conference in Indianapolis in mid-September was as great opportunity for networking and collaborating with our NACDEP colleagues. This E-News contains details. As always, please contact us with questions, comments and suggestions.
MACDEP Interim President
| MACDEP Happenings/Member News
MACDEP Events at Extension Annual Conference
We have many Community Development-related events at the MSU Extension Annual Conference, Oct. 6 - 9 in Bozeman. Please email Commdev@montana.edu to register for our pre-conference workshop or for more information.
- Mon. Oct. 6, 3-5PM, Pre-Conference Workshop, MSU Culbertson Hall, 202 "Community Coaching 101." Presentations include: Lynn Paul: Montana´s Legacy of Community Development; Paul Lachapelle: Fundamentals of Community Coaching; Barb Andreozzi: Asset-mapping, Community Surveying and Follow-up Focus groups; Sarah Hamlen: Setting the Stage for Successful Meetings; Dan Clark: Principals of Community Engagement. Registration is nearly full so contact us ASAP!
- Tues. Oct 7, Noon - 2:00, MACDEP Business Meeting - SUB Room 271, Draft agenda: Reports from Interim President and Interim Treasurer, Adoption of By-laws, Election of Officers (Executive Committee members), NACDEP update from Galaxy Conference, Plan of Work strategy for MACDEP.
- Wed. Oct. 8, 3:10 - 5:00, Roundtable Discussions - SUB Ballroom D, Open discussion on CD programs
NACDEP Call for Abstracts
- Thurs. Oct. 9, 8:15 - 9:45, Community Development Discipline Updates, SUB Room 275, "Horizons Roundtable: Challenges Faced and Lessons Learned" facilitated by Tara Mastel, Barb Andreozzi, Dan Clark, Paul Lachapelle, Sarah Hamlen and other Extension faculty involved in the Montana Horizons Program. This update is open to all; whether you have participated in Horizons in the past, will be part of the next phase, or are just interested in the CD techniques and trainings associated with the program.
Save the Date! The 2009 NACDEP Conference is April 20-22, 2009 in San Diego, California. The Call for Papers and Posters will be issued October 2008
2008 MEDA Fall Conference Summary
Click on the above link to find the 2008 MEDA Fall Conference Summary. Enjoy the photos and download the PowerPoint presentations of interest.
2007 American Community Survey
The U.S. Census Bureau recently released the 2007 American Community Survey (ACS), social, economic, and housing characteristics. To access the detailed information, view Montana Highlights and a Montana Data Profile Narrative, visit Census and Economic Information Center's (CEIC) ACS web page here.
Among the ACS highlights listed by the CEIC is the average means of transportation for Montanans. The majority of Montanans, like the majority of Americans, drive alone to work. While Montana falls well below the national average for workers using public transportation, we have larger percentages of workers who walk (4.8% v 2.8%), use other means (2.5% v 1.7%), or work at home (7.2% v 4.1%). The figure below summarizes the key information.
Figure 1. How Montanan's Travel to Work
Source: Census and Economic Information Center, 2008
Ranchers' Rising Medical Costs
A recent article by NewWest.net highlights the rising medical costs of Farmers and Ranchers in Montana. They cite a report conducted by the Boston-based The Access Project and the University of North Dakota's Center for Rural Health. In their report, Montana tops the list in the number of uninsured farmers and ranchers, as well as several other categories. The table below shows some of the ways in which health care costs are impacting Western farming and ranching families. Click here to view The Access Project's issue brief.
Table 1. Impacts of Health Care on Western Farmers and Ranchers
| Upcoming Events
Webinars: Learn Google Earth and Google Maps
Planetizen is offering two live webinars that teach planners how to use Google Earth and Google Maps for planning. Each is a one-hour interactive event for $49.95. TECH-240 takes place Tuesday, October 7, and TECH-230 takes place Wednesday, October 8.
Housing Application Workshops
Representatives from various Montana agencies will present overviews of their housing programs, requirements for applications and deadlines. In addition, a Consolidated Plan public input meeting will be held. Times and locations vary starting Oct. 15; click here for more information.
Welcome To Success in the New West!
Kalispell, October 17. Montana West Economic Development and Flathead Area Young Professionals present Success in the New West, an educational and entertaining two-part event with top-ranked regional and national speakers who will focus on the future, current business trends and the local economy.
Harvesting Clean Energy Conference
January 25 - 27, 2009 Billings. The Harvesting Clean Energy Conference is the Northwest´s premiere gathering to advance rural economic development through clean energy production. Clean energy offers practical, profitable opportunities for our farmers, ranchers, rural utilities and towns, tribes, and regional economy. Click here for more information.
Growth Through Agriculture Projects
Funded by the Agricultural Development Council, the GTA program provides financial assistance to develop new products or innovative ideas that enhance Montana's agricultural industry. Next application deadline is October 31, 2008.
Coca-Cola/NRC Recycling Bin Grant Program
The National Recycling Coalition Recycling grant supports local community recycling programs by providing bins to selected organizations for the collection of beverage container recyclables in public settings. Grants will be provided to a limited number of applicants who can demonstrate how their proposals will lead to sustainable recycling opportunities.
Google Offers Millions in Contest
As part of its 10th birthday celebration; Google launched a $10 million project Wednesday to solicit world-changing ideas from anybody, anywhere. Entries will fall into eight categories; community, opportunity, energy, environment, health, education, shelter and "everything else." Click here for more information.
New Community Friendly Grants
Several Community-Friendly Grants have been added to the Extension Community Resources Program website.
Community Development "In the News"
Western Montana Banks, Mortgage Companies Report Clear Sailing
While Wall Street is being rocked to and fro by huge tidal changes, the fortunes of banks, mortgage companies and real estate firms in Western Montana are reporting smooth sailing, although real estate sales are a bit slow due to national economic concerns. Missoulian; Oct. 1
Montana Town May Seek Designation as a Superfund Site
Superior officials will decide next month whether to ask Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer to ask the Environmental Protection Agency to put their town on its list of critical clean-up projects, a designation that will have a considerable impact on property values and the lives of the residents, but will also help rope in millions of dollars of federal aid needed to clean up decades of mining waste in the town. Missoulian; Oct. 1
Number of Homeless Students Doubles in Montana School District
Sue Runkle, the homeless education liaison for Montana's School District 2, said she has 145 homeless students this school term, more than double the 70 students she had last year at this time. Billings Gazette; Sept. 29
Knife River Lays Off 20 Employees in Montana
The Polson division of Knife River, which operated under the name of Polson Ready Mix for more than 50 years, was shut down on Thursday, and the 20 employees of the Montana cement company laid off, although they were invited to apply for other jobs at other division in the company, which operates in 14 states. Missoulian; Sept. 26
Montana Banks OK, Lead Nation in Earnings
Despite the fears emanating from Wall Street, local bankers say that credit markets in Montana are operating relatively normally. At the same time, though, too many new bank branches and a growing number of troubled construction loans could lead to a pinch. NewWest.net; Sept 26
Legacy Project Could Change Balance of Power in Montana County
The Montana Legacy Project, a public-private partnership to fund a $150-million deal to buy 320,000 acres of Plum Creek Timber Co. land in Missoula County, will not only protect those lands from future development but will end Plum Creek Timber Co.'s reign as majority landowner in the Montana County, opening up the company's remaining lands to local land-use controls. Missoulian; Sept. 25
A Tale of Two Towns, And What Makes Them 'Authentic'
Rick Cole, city manager of Azusa and now Ventura, reflects on what 'authenticity' really means for towns struggling to balance identity with new development. newgeography; Sept 24
Free College Prep Class Available for Veterans
Montana Veterans’ Upward Bound is offering free college prep classes for qualified military veterans throughout the state. Classes are offered in math, writing and basic computer skills. They will be held Monday through Thursday evenings. Start times vary from 5 to 7 p.m., and classes end no later than 9 p.m. MATR; Sept 24
Montana County Proposes Changes to Rural Subdivision Regulations
At its meeting on Thursday, the Butte-Silver Bow planning commission will consider new regulations for rural subdivisions in the Montana county that would require developers to submit fire protection plans before submitting a primary plat application, as well as water and infrastructure needed for fighting fires, and the regulations would address design and construction material rules to mitigate fire risk. Montana Standard; Sept. 24
Businesses from Ronan, Bozeman, Billings and Chinook are the Winners of the 2008 Montana Family Business awards
The businesses, which ranged in size from fewer than 10 employees to more than 50, will receive their awards at the 2008 Montana State University College of Business State Farm Insurance Family Business Day, set for Friday, Sept. 26, at the Holiday Inn in Bozeman. MSU News Service; Sept. 18
Montana Making it Easier for Rural Areas to Implement Recycling Efforts
With an ambitious goal of increasing recycling statewide from 15 percent to 22 percent by 2015, State legislation is in the works to help support rural communities in accomplishing that objective. Golden Triangle News Source; Sept. 10
Montana’s Largest Planned Development Bankrupt
According to a story in the Helena Independent Record, the Glen Ranch, slated to be a 2,599-lot subdivision, is projected to increase the population of City of Three Forks by threefold. But the developer’s bankruptcy filed this week will decelerate the proposed two golf courses, new water and sewer facilities, and town center. Helena Independent Record; Sept. 10
Green Economic Stimulus Could Create 6,000 Jobs in Montana
Montana could net 6,335 jobs as part of a $100 billion national green economic recovery program proposed in a report released Tuesday by the Center for American Progress. NewWest.net; Sept. 6
Montana Outperforms U.S. on Jobs
Montana's economic growth rate this year is about 5.3 percent, the third best in the nation, trailing only the oil-and-gas titans Alaska and Wyoming. Billings Gazette; Sept. 6
Closure of Convention Center Takes Montana City by Surprise
The Copper King, one of Butte's largest hotels and convention centers, will close Oct. 1, and business leaders and community leaders in the Montana city are scrambling to find new accommodations for events scheduled at the convention center. Montana Standard; Sept. 5
Mining Company Wants to Turn Montana Mine into Wind Farm
Barrick Gold Corp. officials have worked for years with local representatives to ensure that when the company's Golden Sunlight mine near Whitehall closes, the Montana community will have other industries to fill the gap, and the Canadian company has proposed building a wind farm on the mine site when it closes. Montana Standard; Sept. 9
Montana County Commission Moves Tax Break for GE Along
The proposed tax break for General Electric Commercial Finance's new operations center in Billings is complicated by the fact that the tax-exempt Big Sky Economic Development Authority actually owns the land and will own the building in which the operations center will be located, but on Tuesday the Yellowstone County Commission gave preliminary approval to a 10-year tax break for the Montana facility. Billings Gazette; Sept. 10
Bozeman Launches New Community Reading Program
The first One Book-One Bozeman joins a number of other regional community reading programs when it kicks off this week, featuring Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracey Kidder. NewWest.net; Sept. 3
Arsenic, Lead Levels Could Put Montana Town on Superfund List
Residents of Black Eagle whose properties tested high for lead and arsenic said they hoped their Montana town wouldn't land on the federal Superfund list, even if that meant more federal money would be available to clean up the contamination. Great Falls Tribune; Aug. 31